Whose responsibility is it to develop student employability?

No doubt we would argue that developing employability is everyone’s responsibility! To me, employability is metacognition: understanding why we think what we think. Last month, Dawn was lucky enough to give a lecture at the University of the Arts in Helsinki. If you’re interested in how we might approach employability and careers in the Arts without crushing students’ dreams, please take a look and add your thoughts and strategies on our LinkedIn forum. Show less

How employable do your students think they are?

This month, my focus has been students’ own beliefs about their strengths, capacities and employability. I have been using the online tool to prompt their thinking about this, and the results are fascinating. I am starting to see trends in the thinking of both first and final year students, but I need your help! Would you be prepared to engage your students? It takes them 15-20 minutes to create individualised employability profiles, which are research enabled and can be done as reading for a class. Colin Jevons recently saw the results with his international business students. Please let me know if you can help.

Career stories are a powerful tool

Career stories are a powerful tool. This one is in a resource set and is one of several in the site. If you have stories to share, please let us know! Resource Set | Building a Career with Creativity and Resilience

ISPS Conference poster

In Iceland, Dawn presented on the fellowship. She also presented a conference poster from her performance-based research. You can view the conference poster here

Developing Employability in Melbourne

In August, Dawn travelled to visit project partners and colleagues in Melbourne. Whilst there, she gave a presentation to the Australian Council of Deans of Information and Communications Technology on the future of work and the implications for employability development in ICT. The Deans were very receptive and plan to conduct some multi-disciplinary research using the student self-assessment tool. Dawn also met with RMIT colleagues including Fellow Iouri Belski. RMIT is a Fellowship partner and plans to introduce the self-assessment tool into first year Engineering with a view to using it from 2018 alongside their exciting Future Edge initiative. At the University of Melbourne, partners from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music met to discuss embedding employability development alongsid...


Dawn Bennett from Curtin University and Lorna Froud from the University of Reading co-chaired the expert stream in employability at the national HERDSA in Sydney. Colleagues worked together for an hour or two every day, reporting to a plenary session on Friday, June 30th. The group targeted four key areas: 1. The language of employability; 2. Rewriting the metrics on graduate outcomes; 3. Distilling the key elements of good practice; and 4. Radical thinking for effective change. You can access a summary presentation here. Over the coming months, the group members plan to create a white paper in which they bring together the key themes.

The student self-assessment tool is launched

The major piece of work for this Fellowship is the development of a measure and self-assessment tool for employability, based on the Literacies for Life model. Trialled with engineering students at Curtin and UWA, the new EmployABILITY student starter kit was launched on July 31st, just in time for semester 2 in the Southern Hemisphere. How does it work? Students create a personalised employability profile designed to help them understand and explore six literacies that combine to enhance employability. These literacies empower students to make informed life and career decisions that align with personal and societal values and goals. Every student receives a personalised profile. They use the profile and its resources to guide their personal and professional development, returning to the t...

Students assess their self and career literacy

The self and career literacy measure is now ready for students to use online. Each participant receives an individual summary report and a feedback guide with which to create their personalised profile chart; academics receive aggregated data. If your whole cohort completes the tool, I will come and workshop the findings! Please be in touch for more information.

Welcome to the Developing Employability website!

Welcome to the new website and community. Pip and I have been working since January to migrate everything from the old TILE site to one that has far more functionality. Over the coming weeks we will add more tools and resources and more readings. Please send out details of the site to your network – we really want to build the network over coming weeks. The new model positions employability as self and career literacy and the measure has been approved as part of the professional placement hours in four engineering programs. The monthly forums start with Professor Margaret Lloyd, who asks: “How do you sustain whole-of-program change?” In other news, almost half the 19 partner institutions have now begun their projects, and over 1,000 students and educators have engaged in workshops.

Visits to South Australia and Europe

April included a workshop titled From theory to practice: Equipping and enabling Australia’s educators to embed employability across higher education for South Australian colleagues. The workshop and a day of meetings was hosted by Flinders University in Adelaide and attracted academic and professional colleagues from UniSA, Flinders and Adelaide University. Also in April, I travelled to Salzburg to attend a European arts education conference and engage with European partners.  

World summit of the International Federation for national Teaching Fellows

In February, Dawn Bennett attended and presented her work at the 1st world summit of the International Federation for national Teaching Fellows ( in Birmingham, England.

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